By Chinwe of Hair and Health

Protein conditioners are not exactly a necessity for most naturals, but some of us do need them, especially if we color, manipulate, or flat iron our hair regularly. The challenge that is then faced is finding the right protein conditioner, and those that are recommended for relaxed hair may be too harsh for our natural strands.  If you are searching for the right protein conditioner, perhaps you will find it here:

1. ApHogee Keratin 2-Minute Reconstructor – for mild breakage and/or color-treated hair


WHAT’S IN IT:  Hydrolyzed hair keratin (protein) and hydrolyzed mucopolysaccharides (may form complexes with proteins) are among the top ingredients. The combination of these substances with the remainder of the reconstructor will help to temporarily reinforce the hair strand without making it too hard.

WHY APHOGEE: This particular reconstructor is a favorite of some naturals who have color treated their hair and/or are experiencing mild breakage.  While the ApHogee 2-step Protein Treatment is too harsh for these naturals, the ApHogee 2-Minute Keratin Reconstructor is just right due to the product formulation.

2. Tresemme Split Remedy Conditioner – for damp detangling and/or heat styling


WHAT’S IN IT:  Amodimethicone (silicone), cyclopentasiloxane (silicone), and hydrolyzed keratin (protein) are in the top seven ingredients.  The silicones make detangling easier while helping to reduce breakage.  The hydrolyzed keratin can help to strengthen the hair shaft until the next wash.

WHY TRESEMME: If you are purchasing this conditioner to “fix” your split ends then you may be disappointed. However, if you are looking for a light protein conditioner to reduce breakage during manipulation then this one may be for you.  The inclusion of silicones and hydrolyzed keratin make Tresemme Split Remedy an ideal conditioner for naturals who detangle on damp hair or regularly straighten their hair with heat.

3. Organic Root Stimulator Replenishing Pak – for strength without moisture loss


WHAT’S IN IT:  Hydrolyzed collagen (protein) is the fifth ingredient in this product and helps with elasticity.  Glycerine (i.e., glycerin, a humectant) and olive oil are also among the top five ingredients.

WHY ORGANIC ROOT STIMULATOR: This conditioner imparts moisture and strength via the formulation of ingredients.  It is ideal for naturals who want to reinforce their strands but also want to retain their moisture and suppleness.

Ladies, what protein conditioners do you use?  Share your favorites!


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50 Comments on "3 Amazing Protein Conditioners for Natural Hair"

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After washing and regular conditioning, 1. I apply warm olive & avocado oil to towel dry but still wet hair 2. add hydrolyzed silk amino acid (apprx. 2 tbsp) to my deep conditioner, mix it in the blender 3., apply to hair, plastic cap hair and sit under the dryer for 30-40 minutes and rinse thoroughly. The hydrolyzed silk amino acid (HSAA) helped my hair become super hydrated, super soft, shiny and manageable, my ends still feel super hydrated. I have 3b long hair. I highly recommend adding HSAA to their deep conditioner. The hydration was very impressive, noticeable elasticity… Read more »

Protein Conditioners work wonders on my hair! My favorite is from Nutress. They have the best protein treatment ever! My hair feels so soft, less damaged, and healthier, after using it. Plus their products don’t smell or have a ton of harsh ingredients like Aphogee. Nutress formulas are effective but very gentle, which is perfect for natural hair. Those who are looking for a really good protein conditioner should definitely try this brand!


I use the Apogee on my natural hair when I blow it out and flat iron my hair. I only use it maybe twice a year. Its all about making sure not to pull on the hair while its in there and rinsing it completely out. All the products I have tried forcept the Treseme


my hair is fantastic cauz of olive oil conditioner


My hair is natural and I’m allergic to hair colour is there any I can use that can not a affect me?


Vida, Maybe henna would work for you? Henna gives my hair a reddish tint. It can also be combined with indigo for a dark color. Now, there are variety of henna hair dyes sold on the market in whole food stores as well, but I have never tried them. If mixing your own henna then you will need to do research to find hennas which are suitable for hair and are not full of chemicals. My go to is Jamila henna.


Nutress Hair Protein Pack Conditioner is also a great one to use. Many people overlook this brand but don’t sleep on Nutress! Actually I think its the best out of all of these products. And its cheap 🙂


Interesting! Thank you for suggesting those products. Have a nice day! 🙂


I use the pro naturals conditioner and it is seriously good at moisturizing my hair and leaving it manageable and soft. It doesn’t tangle and it looks great!

kayon k powell

I have a problem my hair keeps falling can i get some advise as to what is causing that & what can be done to stop & correct the problem

Soleilkiss@ YT

Hi Kayon, I’m not sure why you’re experiencing hair breakage, but a few common practices that can lead to excess breakage/shedding are rough detangling (i.e raking through dry hair, popping noise), excess heat, or a lot of manipulation (“playing” in your hair a lot). It could also be due to stress or not moisturizing it adequately. I’m not an expert on all natural hair, but I know these are common practices that can lead to a ton of hair loss. Hope this helps 🙂


Aubrey Organic GPB conditioner is my go to protein treat. Mix with coconut oil it is THE TRUTH!!


Each time I sue a silicone free conditioner it leaves my hair veryyy hard and dry*confused…and I always use proteins conditioner because they leave my hair soft which is strange because they say they need to be minimised because they make the hair too firm..


I agree with the others. There is no clear cut definition of which is the best conditioner. Sometimes, it is a matter of trial and error. You have to find what works for your hair type and play it by ear.


[…] get fried or dried out. In humid regions where the hair becomes overwhelmed with moisture, protein conditioners are more beneficial to balance the hair and in dry arid regions moisturizing conditioners are most […]


Joico KPAK Reconstructing Conditioner. Leave it on for just 1 minute, hands down best protein conditioner. No 30 minute marathon sessions. Ain’t nobody got time for that.


I’ve done egg yolks + Vatika oil AND [not together LOL] Aubrey Organics GPB conditioner to strengthen. Honestly…I have way less breakage with both…and have had similar results trying both. The choice is up to you. Your mileage may vary, I’m afraid. BTW: I rinsed with cool water after the egg treatment…didn’t have any issues with cooked yolk.


sorry but #1 is too hard for my hair…during my perm days Aphogee was wonderful


I dont use eggs and mayo together be ause mayo already contain eggs. Anyway, I apply mayo to dry hair and Let it sit for 30 mins under a cap then rinde and apply organic root stimulator and sit under the dryer for about 10 minutes. My hair is growing like crazy! The results is strong hair that is moisterized and soft too.


It’s cool that eggs work for some people and all, but I personally will stick with only hydrolyzed proteins that can fit into the hair strand. Amino acids are too small. Egg and unhydrolyzed protein is too big. Plus, I hated washing out egg from my hair! Such a mess! Are there any other protein conditioners that are silicone free besides the Aphogee? I use Aphogee every 6 weeks but would like to use something like the Moisturizing Pak (with moisture and protein) but without cones.


Egg protein are too big to penetrate the strand unlike hydrolyzed protein.


Curl Junky’s “Repair Me” is my favorite protein treatment, and it has no silicones in it. It’s pretty expensive, but it lasts a long time, seeing as how one shouldn’t do protein treatments much more than once every eight weeks.

I also used to use Nexxus Emergencee. It worked pretty well, I don’t remember if it had silicones though.

nappy headed black girl

The ORS conditioner takes me back to my relaxer days haha

I don’t use a protein conditioner but need to start. I thought (like many dreads do) that I didn’t need protein because I have dreads. Turns out dreads can break, too. You still have to keep the individual strands strong.

I’m just particular about using non-oil/watery products for fear of build-up and possible damage from leftover product.


I had a ton of buildup from overconditioning my locs. After religiously shampooing most of it out, I used the Aphogee 2-Minute Reconstructor treatment again. Hair felt better after all that punishment I put it through. Just be sure to rinse it out thoroughly. I mean thoroughly. 🙂 Good luck.


I use Shea Moisture Yucca and Baobab Anti-Breakage Masque, which has really been helping the breakage. I just got Aubrey Organice GPB Balancing Conditioner. I really like the smell and my hair felt strong and moisturized but not overly in either direction.


I use Aubrey Organics GPB as well…with a twist. I always use this as my DC AND mix w/Vatika oil. Wonderful.


I use the aphogee two-step protein treatment. It stinks and it is kinda messy/ time consuming but the results are amazing and incomparable imo!!!!

I use # 1 and # 3 for light and fast treatments.


#3 Organic Root Stimulator is AWESOME!!


aphogee 2 minute was a game changer for me. I use it once a week, sometimes twice. Coupled with protective styling its helped me retain length so much easier

Michelle@Radiant Brown Beauty

Aubrey Organics Glycogen Protein Balancing Conditioner. This is the #TRUTH


I love aphogee! It works really well!


Aphogee is great, I love it too. I absolutely hate ORS conditioner though. My former stylist loved that stuff and I swear that it broke my hair off because my hair was doing fine until she started using it. I never understood why people love it so much because it made my hair really matted and dry.


I love mane and tail conditioner and elasta QP breakage serum.


I’ve been using the Aphoghee once a month, lately. I may try the Treseme when I finish off the Aphoghee.


Aubrey Organics GPB works wonders as well.


This is my go to protein treatment when I need a protein treatment which is rare


@ Tanya I may try this…thanks!


Aubrey GPB is definitely my go to! I like the ApHogee 2 Minute Reconstructor too. I have one of those Olive Oil Replenishing Packs under my sink, but I never tried it!! I must have bought it a good 1 1/2 years ago!! DOH!! PJ Problems ;). LOL!


This is what I use as well.


That’s my deep conditioner with EVOO and honey. Love it.


For my protein treatment: eggs, mayo, and honey…mix well.leave on for 30 mins wash it out.


Yes, use a non-protein conditioner afterward…you don’t want to over protein your hair.


I tried this mixture a while back and the egg was hard to remove from hair. How do you get all the egg out?


if it was hard to rinse out maybe you cooked the egg. I prefer to use cold water when rinsing my hair but warm will do to.. if it’s too hot the egg will cook and you’ll end up with white stuff in your hair ( egg whites I guess)


i am almost tired of buying products that promise this and that and then don’t!Rinse well…You don’t have to use eggs just YouTube it…do your own research on what works well for you…if you don’t try it how do you know? All the best to you.


I’m scared that eggs would be hard to get out of my hair, so I use a mix of mayo, honey and olive or coconut oil. Sometimes I add liquid aminos for an added protein kick. Made a huge difference to my hair after just one conditioning session – I hadn’t realized how much my hair was in need of protein treatment.


You have to rinse the egg out with cool water. If not, it’ll “cook” and be impossible to remove.


Rinse the egg out with cool water. If not, it’ll “cook” and be impossible to remove.


I rinse it out well in the shower first and follow it with my regular conditioner.


I love this one too!!! I got my particular recipe from Naptural85 and it was amazing even after the first use.